Written by: Michael Zhang, Sam Li, Yingnan Hao and Mengmeng Jiang KWM Dispute Resolution Group
The PRC Ministry of Justice issued an exposure draft of the new Arbitration Law (the “Exposure Draft”) on July 30, 2021, for public comment. The Exposure Draft reflects significant improvements to the current Arbitration Law (enacted in 1994 with two amendments afterwards). The aim of these improvements are to harmonize Chinese international arbitration law with well-established international arbitration practice. In this article, we excerpt four of the most salient changes proposed by the Exposure Draft to Chinese arbitration law and discuss the impact this may have on Chinese arbitration law and practice going forward. It should be noted that the Exposure Draft has not yet entered the review process of the National People’s Congress (an official enactment procedure) and is therefore not yet law and could be subject to change; we will continue to follow and provide guidance on any future updates to the new Arbitration Law.